Clarification on the compensation consensus process
Unite Summit would like to offer a few points of clarification on the information presented during our first compensation LT. The letter referenced in the slides was sent to Unite Summit at 3:26 p.m. yesterday; as teachers were still on duty, no one had a chance to read or respond to it before the meeting. Here is some additional context:
1. There appears to be confusion about the definition of “status quo.” During the unionization process, working conditions are supposed to remain at the status quo until a negotiated contract is ratified. Any changes to working conditions must be negotiated with our union. The current status quo regarding compensation is not the current salary and benefits schedule; it is the process Summit has historically used to periodically revisit that compensation plan. Compensation is a mandatory subject of any collective bargaining agreement, so we can revisit the subject during contract negotiations. Therefore, we will participate in current consensus procedures, which is the status quo, but that does not close the door on future talks related to compensation as it is part of our holistic contract negotiations. When recognized, we can continue to engage in transparent processes, such as gathering input from various sites and teams with regards to compensation and other issues. Having an elected bargaining team to negotiate will then also help us articulate and draft proposals for these decisions rather than putting it on the onus of individual teachers.
2. Majority support for Unite Summit has already been certified by the Public Employee Relations Board. The only reason we are still waiting on a ruling from PERB is that SPS has continued to put forth legal delays that seek to redefine the definition of our bargaining unit. Teachers have a legal right to define their own bargaining unit, and our union is seeking to represent our teachers. The continued arguments over the inclusion of Home Office and administrative employee positions, nearly all of which have been transferred outside of SPS and are now under TLP, are simply delays on the part of SPS leadership. (For more information on this issue, see our previous newsletter. We call on SPS to immediately recognize Unite Summit and move on to bargaining our first contract.
3. Unite Summit’s primary goals have always been:
a) improve support services for students;
b) improve job sustainability to increase teacher retention;
c) provide an increased voice for teachers in the decision-making processes that impact our lives and our students’ lives.
The current compensation consensus process addresses a narrow range of issues compared to the total number of issues that matter to our teachers and that we want included in our first contract. Like our union colleagues across the nation, we are concerned about much more than just pay and benefits. We want our schools adequately staffed with support services for students. We want a say in defining our job duties, working hours, and other important factors that are currently leading to teacher burnout and high turnover. We want elected teacher representatives at the bargaining table, negotiating with SPS leadership as equals on a holistic contract that addresses the scope of our concerns and provides a path forward in which teachers have a more equal say in ALL the decision-making processes that affect our lives and our students’ lives.
4. As previously stated, SPS sent an email to Unite Summit regarding the compensation process at 3:26 p.m. on the day of the first compensation LT. We have been asking for information about how the unionization process would affect the compensation consensus process since the subject was first raised during PD at the start of August. Receiving Summit’s stance on the issue less than five minutes before the first compensation LT did not provide anyone with enough information to fully answer everyone’s questions yesterday. There is a Bargaining Team meeting scheduled for this Saturday. Please reach out to your site representatives with questions, as they will be discussing the compensation consensus process, along with all other contract-related issues, as they prepare to move into bargaining.
Here are the current elected members of our Bargaining Team:
Denali HS: Liz Grewal, Science
Denali MS: Amber Steele, Electives
Everest: Evan Anderson, Science
Expeditions: Liz DeOrnellas, Journalism and Creative Writing
K2 HS: Brendan Boland, English
K2 MS: Haley Ralph (Holt), History
Prep: Dan McClure, Science
Rainier: Isela Mosqueira, Spanish
Shasta: Hillary Odom, Diverse Learner Support Summit Tahoma: Doug Wills, Math
Tam: Fahima Zaman, Science (interim)
Our fall survey is still open if you have not had a chance to give input: tinyurl.com/USFallSurvey. We are also still recruiting members of the Contract Action Team at each site, so please reach out to your Bargaining Team representative if you would like to be more involved in gathering teacher input and crafting contract proposals.
Being a teacher at Summit comes with unique responsibilities and stresses. Unite Summit was formed by teachers, for teachers. The intent has and continues to be to give teachers collective power and elevate their status in our decision-making processes. Regardless of our individual differences of opinion, it is important that we all have our thoughts accounted and voiced for. Our union is made stronger through collaboration and communication; please reach out to us and help us best represent you!
Resolutions of support
We are grateful to Summit Learning teachers from across the country for their public support of our unionization efforts. Here are some resolutions of support from Fresno, Oakland, Santa Barbara, and Beverly, Massachusetts.
New credentialing requirements
The recently passed charter bill (AB 1505) makes changes to credentialing requirements for charter teachers. There are a lot of questions about the changes, so here’s a brief primer.
Under the previous law, charter teachers did not need credentials if they did not teach “noncore, non-college-preparatory” classes. However, there was no standard definition of what “noncore, non-college-preparatory” means, which created confusion and inconsistencies.
AB 1505 now requires all charter teachers to have the same credentials as district teachers (charters also get the same flexibility that districts have in terms of emergency credentials and other exceptions to the law).
However, there is a phase-in period. Here’s the timeline:
Starting July 1, 2020, all charter school teachers must have a certificate of clearance. This means that your fingerprints, name, and other information is submitted to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and put in their statewide database. Most Summit teachers already have a certificate of clearance. This is a student safety issue and allows the State to keep track of anyone who teaches in a California school.
Starting July 1, 2020, all newly hired charter school teachers must have an appropriate credential. This does not impact anyone currently working at Summit.
Starting July 1, 2025, all charter school teachers must have an appropriate credential. This means that current Summit teachers have to obtain a credential during the next 5+ years.
Additionally, by June of 2022, the CTC will conduct a study to determine if new credentials or permits need to be created in order to meet the needs of all schools (both district and charter), especially for “noncore, non-college-preparatory” classes.